Power tool manufacturer Black & Decker Corporation announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of U.S. $0.28 per share of the corporation's outstanding common stock payable March 25, 2005, to stockholders of record at the close of business on March 11, 2005. This represents a 33-percent increase over the $0.21 quarterly dividend paid by the Corporation since December 2003.
In addition, the board of directors increased the corporation's authorization under its stock repurchase program by 2.5 million shares. Combined with authorization of approximately 2.9 million shares remaining as of the beginning of the year, the increase enables Black & Decker to reduce its share count by nearly 5.4 million shares from the level at the end of 2004. The corporation has repurchased approximately 1.7 million shares in 2005, leaving approximately 3.7 million shares remaining under the repurchase program.
"Black & Decker generated $526 million of free cash flow in 2004, setting a record for the third year in a row. Our outstanding cash flow enables us to return cash to our shareholders as well as grow the business internally and through compelling bolt-on acquisitions," commented Nolan D. Archibald, chairman and CEO. "The Board's decision to increase the dividend and share repurchase authorization demonstrates our confidence in the corporation's continuing ability to generate strong earnings and free cash flow. It also reinforces our commitment to paying a competitive dividend and controlling our share count."
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